Geocaching – New Marketing Opportunity???

geocaching  social marketingGeocaching – New Marketing Opportunity?

As a social marketing consultant, I am constantly on the lookout for new technologies and trends which might provide you with new tools to add to your social marketing arsenal.  Here is a hot, new game with the potential to become a part of your marketing program.  Check it out!

My college age daughter and her friends play it every week.  And so do over 5 million players at 1.67 million geocaching site.  Yet most marketers have never heard of it.  But you should.  It could be a new marketing hook to strengthen your relationships with current customers and attract new prospects to your site.  Geocaching is catching on throughout the world and is something with unique and interesting marketing opportunities.  If you are interested in making more money and increasing involvement with your customers, it is a new use of proven media and in a way that makes it fun to associate with your company.

The concept of Geocaching is simple.  Geocaching is an electronic treasure hunt.  One group of individuals takes some interesting trinkets or items, places them in a waterproof container and then hides it somewhere – in a field, on a sign, in a tree, buried in a yard.  They then use their cell phones to determine the geo location of the hidden item.  The individual then records a description of the “treasure'” on the geocaching website.  You can go to the site, enter your zipcode, and see the “treasures” around you.  Your mission – if you choose to accept it – is to get to the treasure before anyone else and get there undetected.  If you do, you retrieve the treasure and it is yours.

See for yourself – go to geocaching.com – and see what is around your home or office.  Then watch their videos.

What is the marketing potential of Geocaching? 

geocaching badge

As marketers, we must always look for ways to engage & involve our target markets.  Regardless of what we sell, people enjoy competition and the ability to do something fun – with others like them – and get some sort of reward at the end.

Geocaching is a way to accomplish this goal.  How can it be used for marketing?  Here are some ideas I came up with:

  • Combine Geocaching with a contest – Hide car keys, puzzle pieces, or medallions which teams can collect.  Whoever has more or the right one can get a prize.  You can do this locally, regionally, or nationally.
  • Geocaching at a convention – Hide items at a convention site and then have attendees search to find them.  They can be given prizes or rewards at your booth.  You might even have teams working to win a grand prize awarded at the end of the convention.
  • Combine geocaching with a scanvenger hunt – Start with a single geolocation that links to others.  Individuals must follow the clues to a final reward

Those are a few ideas I developed … but I am sure you can come up with better ones.  What are your ideas and thoughts about Geocaching and its potential marketing applications? 

Your thoughts?  And, if you like this blog, please re-tweet it to your colleagues

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Randy Hlavac
Randy Hlavac is a marketing futurist who – since 1990 – has worked to integrate new technologies into the marketing strategies & tactics of B2B and B2C companies.

March 2012
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